• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyze the Effects of World War II on the USSR between 1941 and 1948

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Analyze the Effects of World War II on the USSR between 1941 and 1948 The Second World War had a profound and lasting effect by permanently altering the USSR during the time period 1941-8. Despite the negative effects of the war including the absolute destruction of Eastern Europe and the loss of countless civilian and military lives, by its end the USSR had emerged alongside the USA stronger than ever as one of the two global superpowers which would command the communist world for the next 45 years. The USSR's implication in the Second World War began with the initiation of Hitler's Operation Barbarossa on the 22nd July 1941. In this offensive 4.5 million axis troops poured into a 1,800 mile front and marched on into Russia making it the largest ever invasion force. The early stages of the invasion surprised Stalin who himself had prepared minimal Soviet resistance, believing that Hitler would only attack after beating Britain, and so allowed the Germans to march forward with ease as three army groups progressed through Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania. However with the invading force also came the urgency for a massive overhaul of the Soviet military and a reorganization of its resources allowing them to counter German aggression. ...read more.

Middle

The cause of this turnaround has been attributed mainly to Hitler's orders of delaying Stalingrad's invasion, in an effort to support the invasion force at Kiev and crush the uprisings in Yugoslavia and Greece and the freezing cold weather which Germans troops weren't used to. However a historian Viktor Suvorov claims that the key to the USSR's success was a large and better equipped Soviet Army that had secretly planned a counter operation "Thunderstorm" which was implemented two weeks following the German invasion, targeting Axis oil supplies in Romania. Following Operation Barbarossa, on May 11th 1945 all German armed forces surrendered to Soviet troops officially ending the war. However this victory cost the USSR 20% of Russia's overall resources, a large part of its population and almost completely destroyed its infrastructure. However despite the extent of the destruction which surpassed any other countries, Stalin had found himself in a strategic position of power as he now had the largest battle-trained army positioned right at the center of Europe occupying Berlin and large parts of Germany. This gave him leverage against the other Allied powers (which he deeply distrusted) forcing them to give in to his wishes of setting up Soviet friendly governments in East Europe and Germany (or buffer zone) ...read more.

Conclusion

Stalin remained distrustful as ever and even carried out small purges against the same Generals who had won him the war out of fear of their rising popularity. He did this by abolishing the Stavka and GKO while also demoting several top commanders. Also the previously failed policy of collectivization which had temporarily broken down through the war was resumed and re-implemented. However the extent to which this was successful was limited, since by 1950 250,000 kolkhozes had been created, but with almost 50% of land still remaining in private hands. Concluding the Second World War brought a variety of good and bad effects to the Soviet Union. The destruction caused by the German invasion brought the Soviet economy to its knees along with a raging famine which led many people to starvation is argued as placing the Soviet Union as the most severely weakened of all countries that participated in the war. However the wars conclusion also produced a power gap previously occupied by Imperialist European powers which was then filled by the Soviet Union mainly due to its leverage over the other European Nations and the existence of its newly formed battled-hardened military strength. This strength then extended into other areas including a central position on the global stage and breakthrough's in technological and scientific fields. This allowed the Soviet Union to expand its power and influence and develop into a Superpower of the 20th century. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. World War 1 Information

    rights to sea > Wilson is reelected in 1916 and tries to mediate the conflict, but both sides refuse > February 1917, Germany announced they would resume U-boat warfare in an attempt to win the war > US breaks diplomatic relations with Germany > Allies blockade on Germany creates food

  2. Comparison between Trotsky's and Lenin's role in the establishment of the USSR

    what the party began to call the New Economic Policy, or NEP. So all in all it is fair to say that Terry Brotherstone comment on the successful Bolshevik October Revolution applies for the rest of the Period until 1924 as well.

  1. To What Extent Were Hitlers Policies the Cause of World War II?

    the German people as they felt that they were being punished and blamed for a war they hadn't necessarily started. Also the failure to pay reparations with the following French subjugation of the Ruhr further fueled this hatred that then gave access to people like Hitler who spoke of reversing

  2. What Effect Did World War II have on Eastern Europe?

    There are some differences between the two wars, however. World War One started in part due to the alliances in place. Countries that had no reason to fight were drawn into the war due to pressures from their allies. World War 2, on the other hand, was fought more out of the need to keep the Axis Powers from taking over the world.

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    First World War put the regime under immense pressure. Revolution begins 1. 40000 from the Putilov engineering works in Petrograd went on strike for higher wages. Next day was International Women?s Day and they joined the workers. Thousands joined in during the next days. Tsar ordered the use of force.

  2. History questions on Soviet Russia and its relations with the rest of the World.

    What has happened to democracy, national self-determination, and the individual since the invention of more sophisticated weapons? Do you agree or disagree w/Orwell?s conclusions? Why? As stated above in the last question, more sophisticated weapons have only been made for the state and for industrialized countries, and I do agree with this.

  1. To What Extent Did The Space Race Exacerbate Political Tensions Between The USA and ...

    being set up in the United Kingdom[10], within striking distance of Moscow, and in September 1958, a US C130 Reconnaissance Airplane was shot down over Armenia by MIG-17s. These hostile movements took encroaching steps towards the heart of the Soviet Union and the core of the Warsaw Pact.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Free elections held in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to set up a representative of the Palestinian people, rejecting the involvement of the PLO. - The plan was rejected by the Palestinians because it did not give them the right to choose their own destiny or representatives - the plan rejected the notion of direct PLO-Israeli negotiations.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work